Monday, February 26, 2024

Mortal Kombat 11 (Playstation 4, 2019)

Alternate timelines and meeting your past self were all the rage in our entertainment circa 2019, and this game is no exception. Considering it came out the same week as Avengers: Endgame, it shares a lot of concepts with that movie.

(This is the only MK post that isn't entirely new, as I did this in 2019, so I'm rewriting it now. It probably won't go as in-depth as some of the others as a result.)

We've got a lot of options here. You've got the traditional towers where you fight a bunch of random opponents in a row, plus a 4-ish hour story mode.

The versus mode / arcade roster is pretty robust at this point. Kind of funny to think about how the old Mortal Kombat games started and ended with their towers. That was it for single-player gameplay.

The first thing that jumps out about this game: The visuals. They're far beyond every other game in this series so far. MKX was a PS3 game originally and got ported to PS4 (which is the version I played), while this game was built from the ground-up for PS4.

Kitana MURDERS THE CAMERAMAN with her blade-fan.

Fan spin of death! The camera zooms in on some of the bigger moves.

The iconic "FINISH HIM" has returned. I like to do something super-lame like throw a low punch.

Kitana's knee-lift when throwing fans has been my favorite Mortal Kombat move since MKII.

When you finish a traditional tower as a character, you get a traditional ending. All of them involve time-travel, since winning this tournament gives the winner time-travel powers.

Kitana's ending has her going back in time to keep her homeland of Edenia from falling into ruin and becoming Outworld.

She then hangs out on the Iron Throne and teaches young people to fight while a Wrestlemania-sized crowd looks on.

Onward to the actual story mode, where Kitana is dead / a revenant, along with most of the characters I like.

This is moody and atmospheric right off the bat.


The story begins with Shinnok's severed head on a table. Welp, his arc is over! Still think he's probably the lamest MK villain. He shouldn't be, considering he's a full-on Elder God, but yeah.

Raiden beheaded him at the end of the previous game, which was a risky move, and apparently angered the Time God. More on that soon. ...or maybe we already got more on that yesterday? One thing is for sure, angering the Time God is, was, and will be a bad idea.

The first chapter of Story Mode has us on a miltary base, picking up right where MKX left off.

Cassie Cage vs Sonya! Is it Sonya Cage, or Sonya Blade? We don't know. It's just "Sonya"

Johnny is a Miz-like movie star, that goes a long way.

It just me or does Sonya look younger and hotter than Cassie?'s just me? Alright.

Earth's Special Forces investigate the house from Resident Evil. It seems Netherrealm has been ignoring Raiden's warnings and antagonizing Earthrealm, so our heroes are now attacking Netherrealm's outposts.

The signature ultra-violence is back and bloodier than ever! A lot of these moves make you wonder how the character isn't completely dead, like this one where Cassie shoots her opponent with giant kryptonite bullets.

At the end of chapter 1, Sonya - spoiler alert - gets killed during an assault on a Netherrealm outpost. It's a super-emotional moment for everybody...until a little while later when they go back in time and Sonya is still alive there and it's like nothing happened. Future Sonya is no more, however.

Next, our heroes visit Netherrealm, which looks more like the land of Mordor. Said with an Aragorn accent.

Here's the actual villain of this game, Kronika. ::giddy giggling is heard::

She's the Time God in question. No word on if she's also a fan of the ganjaweed.

In any case, meeting her sets into motion a chain of events where our heroes get taken...back to the past. And the ironic part is I don't think this game is actually remaking any of the others. Yeah, the one with full-on time travel is also the one that doesn't repeat any storylines.

This means meeting their past selves. Here's Older Johnny Cage meeting Younger Johnny Cage. On the right is Cassie, on the left is Younger Sonya. Here she's closer to the age of her daughter. This is, of course, super-weird for the older characters because they just lost her in their timeline.

Time-travel also means they can bring back literally everybody from the earlier games that they killed in MK9. Shao Khan has a weirdly monster-ish chest here. In the old games he had a very human chest and didn't look like a monster at all.

Raiden, unfortunately not played by Christopher Lambert, is here to unleash lightning bolts.

(2024 Editor's Note: There is now a DLC that lets you play as Christopher Lambert Raiden. It's like they read this post between 2019 and now)

This is a callback to MK9, right before Kung Lao got slain.

Here's Skarlet, a character I'm not familiar with. I think she was a secret character in one of the earlier games.

For some reason Jade is now in a relationship with Kotal Kahn (Note: Still no relation to Shao). They're basically the two rulers of Outworld at this point.

After she says this, he goes "no other woman was you". That is rizz, as the kids say.

Next thing we know, Shao Kahn announces that he's invading Russia and Britain at the same time! Is that really the best idea? He then goes back to his bunker to do more morphine.

Kotal Kahn gets to be the one to beat Shao Kahn this time around. Surprised to see this fight so early in the game, as if they're clearing the deck for new ideas.

The past version of the Shaolin Monks. So Kung Lao is back and so is Liu Kang. They're just gonna kinda ignore that whole undead revenant thing, I think.

The story gets so convoluted in MK10 and 11 that I can barely even keep track of it or cover it. Nothing really matters because they kill off and bring characters back constantly, there are often two versions of characters based on which timeline they're from, etc. The next game is gonna make it even worse by introducing a multiverse where there are a bunch of realities with a bunch of versions of characters, too. Yes, they went from Marvel Phase 3 timey wimey stuff in this game to Marvel Phase 4 multiverse stuff in the next game.

Our heroes get to find out how their future selves died and it makes for some awkward conversation. So far this game is pretty much just a direct continuation of MK9 and doesn't have much to do with MK10 besides the Shinnok head on the table (and the existence of the New Generation)

Raiden gets a mission from the Elder Gods. He's got to get the heroes together so they can take on Kronika ::giddy giggling is heard::

Well, glad the Elder Gods are against her, considering Raiden is the one who kinda beheaded an Elder God at the end of the last game.

We get a particularly cool chapter with pre-crisis Sub-Zero and pre-dead Scorpion. They were master assassins of the Lin Kuei.

Sub-Zero looks like noted Best Friend and AEW superstar, Trent Baretta. Scorpion bears a striking resemblance to an Uso Brother of WWE fame. Neither is nearly as egregious as what's coming up though.

I always thought Cyrax was a robo Scorpion, since Scorpion was missing from the game Cyrax debuted in (MKIII). Nope, not Scorpion at all. Here they are on the same screen.

This is an interesting subplot, as Sub-Zero and Scorpion refuse to go through with the Lin Kuei's new initiative of turning themselves into robots. Here's Noob Saibot. Wait, this is before MK9... and Noob wasn't a bot in MK9. Well, don't think about it too much.

The good ones weren't the only ones to go Back To The Past. Future Kano is here, and he's ready to form an alliance of bastards with Past Kano.

Also, Future Kano is none other than noted wrestling standout AUSTIN ARIES. This time it isn't just a coincidental resemblance, they made him the spitting image of A-Double.

austin aries
I hope he got paid for his likeness being used. When this game was in development he was fresh off his WWE run.

Kronika's daughter is the Poison Ivy esque Cetrion. She's also Shinnok's sister. What a tangled web!

Past Sonya is working on computer stuff and being creeped on by...

...TWO JOHNNIES. As if one wasn't already bad enough!

Old Johnny takes Young Johnny to task for his disrespectful attitude towards Sonya, and Younger Johnny offers up this bit of Dad-Wisdom. Older Johnny then points out that their father was an asshole.

I think Older Johnny is amazed that Sonya ever got together with him back then. This would probably be a really common sentiment if people could jump back in time like this.

Of course, this inevitably leads to JOHNNY VERSUS JOHNNY. For all the marbles! Note how younger Johnny is posing and acting like a douche while older Johnny is just kind of over it all.

As Older Johnny, I proceed to punch Young Johnny in the groin as much as humanly possible. NO MORE CASSIE! HAW HAW!

He then punches Kano in the groin! CRACK!

Johnny is preventing all kinds of future timelines!

Unfortunately, dick-punching only wins most battles, and the Kanos emerge victorious thanks to Older Kano's resourcefulness.

Oh hai, it's Sheeva. ...she has seen better days.

Meanwhile, Skarlet hungers for Jade's blood. Really not into this "beast" version of Shao Kahn, and there's no real explanation as to why he looks different.

The core hero-group hasn't changed much all these years. Except for when they were all dead throughout MKX... glad we're just kinda ignoring that now.

A few fan throws (w/ sexy knee lift) later and Skarlet is defeated. We barely knew ye.

Shao Kahn: Somehow still around. Now he's equipped with his extra-large Thor hammer.

He unleashes Lex Luger's Torture Rack on Kotal Kahn while walking around. It's about time someone smashed Kotal Kahn. TBH Kahn vs Kahn was something I kinda wanted to see from the minute Kotal showed up.

Story mode dictates that Kitana be the one to fight Shao Kahn this time. That's more like it!

He has the same charge-based offense as he did in the past, only now with added 3D zooming.

Later, story mode takes you to Shang Tsung's Island. This is of course the setting of the first movie, the gathering place of the world's fighters.

Next up, lots of shooting as our heroes deal with the Terminator-like onslaught of...

...Kano, who now has A DAMN MINIGUN!

Somewhere in there Johnny Cage gets shot in the arm. It's just the shot in the arm (...) he needs to be a little more humble with the woman he's been stalking.

Meanwhile, Jax spends quality family time with his future daughter, Jacqui Briggs. One thing this game does well: Character development and bonding moments. It's a more grown-up MK.

......not sure if this is future Jax or past Jax who hasn't had her yet or what. I'm so confused.

OH SNAP, it's the original MK emblem falling apart on Shang Tsung's Island.

If that background looks familiar, it should. It's the tournament stage from the very first game in the series. It's in disrepair now, obviously.

Here's Goro's lair, complete with...Goro? petrified in the background.

We also get a sweet cutscene with our heroes fighting thousands of goons on a bridge.

Shang Tsung's Island also shows up in Krypt Mode, as does...

...OH MY GOD. It's the real Shang Tsung.

Here's Past Scorpion (R) Vs. Present Scorpion (L)

Young Scorpion: "My future self and me! My future self and meeeee!"

Rayden puts Liu Kang to the test.

His electric attacks look particularly rad here, in the raddest-looking of MKs.

Kronika is basically like an evil Doctor Strange. Which figures because she looks just like the bald lady from Doctor Strange.

So every time Liu Kang has to fight Raiden for real, he dies? If I were Liu Kang I'd be going "now wait a second" right about now. Turns out Kronika has been manipulating events to ensure that Liu Kang always dies.

Whatever, DOCTOR. Raiden realizes that the best way to foil Kronika is to combine his powers with Liu Kang somehow.

So long story short, Revenant Liu Kang finally shows up again and merges with Past Liu Kang, then Raiden merges with the combined Liu Kang to become...

...Fire God Liu Kang. He now has the power of both himself and Raiden. This means he can claim his place once again as top MK hero, after two games where he ceded that title to Raiden and a bunch of kids. He's got fire power, lightning power, Liu Kang power, and is an all-around total beast.

Fire God Liu Kang is the single most powerful character in the MK series. Not sure why they didn't just do this earlier to annihilate Shao Kahn all those years ago. It's like a Namek fusion. Were Piccolo and Kami just sitting on that idea while the Saiyans murdered everyone??

He leads the liberation army of Earth against the minions of Outworld and Kronika.

This also means he has to defeat the undead future versions of Kung Lao, and Kitana, to finally end this dumb revenant storyline.

He's so strong that he pretty much obsoletes the entire rest of the cast. Nobody can stand up to this dude. Even Kronika is probably getting worried right about now.

Cetrion is the penultimate fight. She's Shinnok's sister, hope everyone is keeping up with all of this.

At last, Fire God Liu Kang sends Kronika to fucking Narnia with a barrage of flying kicks, and I've officially won Mortal Kombat 11.

Kronika turns to shattered gems, our heroes go back to their correct times, and...

...everything gets wrapped up in a neat bow. Well, that was a fun game, and ends a really outstanding trilogy. The best the MK series gets, IMO.

As credits roll, we get this shot of Sonya kicking Kano in the groin so hard that his entire spine gets launched out of his body.

Oh, MK.

But wait! MK11 isn't over yet. They dropped a DLC for it, MK11 Aftermath, that continues the story like a full-on sequel. It's about the same length as this game, and really good for the $10 or so that it runs. Checking that out next. The one-two punch of MK11 and its DLC sequel is probably the best overall game in the entire series, usurping MK9 for that honor. MK9 is my favorite game in the series as a stand-alone. If MK9 had an excellent DLC maybe it would win, but nope.


  1. Looks like things are going better for Jade than in Shaolin Monks, at least.

    Whoa, I did not see Fire God Liu Kang coming. What a cool looking game.

  2. The engineers made it a point to make bunches of things like the first set of three of the game even the four essential playing game mod free catches that play out the fundamental kicks and punches were returned however were made to fit every one of a kind individual game character.

  3. So that's how Fire God Liu Kang happened. Crazy